Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meet Christine B. Whittemore, Social Media Marketer & Customer Enthusiast

Christine B. Whittemore Hi, I'm Christine [a.k.a. "C.B."] Whittemore, Chief Simplifier of Simple Marketing Now where I focus on integrating new, digital and social media based marketing with traditional marketing. I'm a practical marketer: I focus on efficient solutions to marketing and communication brand challenges with the end goal of forging stronger relationships with customers.

I've been involved in the floor covering industry ever since becoming part of the Wear-Dated carpet fiber commercial team in 2003. Before that, I was business director for the residential Wear-Dated upholstery fabric business of Solutia and marketing manager for Wear-Dated apparel.

Jim Gould and I connected when he was Chief Product Officer for CCA Global Partners. He was one of the very first people I met when I took over as national accounts manager for Wear-Dated. I never imagined then that we would continue our flooring industry discussions via the Floor Covering Institute!

When I think Floor Covering Institute, I think analysis of issues and topics affecting the floor covering or flooring industry [e.g., The Lacey Act], discussion around improvements and solutions, intense thought leadership and also celebration of what makes the industry not only unique, but also critical to consumers.

Because, ultimately, it matters to us all - whether manufacturer, retailer or related service provider - that consumers purchase our flooring products and acknowledge their value. Right? No consumer, no industry. Right?

That realization - the criticality of our customer - has been a source of fascination since my early Wear-Dated days. How do we improve our customer's flooring retail experience?

In fact, that's how I got started in social media!

I launched Flooring The Consumer, my blog about marketing to women and the retail experience, in June 2006. In addition to writing about it on my blog, I contribute on the subject of the customer experience to Floor Covering Weekly as a columnist, and speak about it at Surfaces. I've also conducted many, many presentations on the subject with flooring retailers around the country.

An interesting thing happened, though, as a result of my blog. I became fully immersed in the world of marketing with social media. I discovered ways of improving the reach of ideas and expanding their value by interacting with others involved in social media. I became more knowledgeable about digital marketing, got involved in redesigning websites and rewriting content to be more 'social' and relevant to visitors, launched the Carpetology Blog to support the redesigned Wear-Dated website... And, I became adept at integrating digital and social marketing into traditional marketing strategy.

Since then, I have established my own consultancy - Simple Marketing Now - with companion blog and online newsroom, Simple Marketing Blog.

I've recently published Social Media's Collective Wisdom: Simplifying Marketing With Social Media - Book 1, an e-book based on an ongoing interview series with the most knowledgeable social media practitioners around.

And, since I spend time monitoring the social state of the flooring industry, which is just starting to develop, I've created the Social Flooring Index, updated quarterly.

If you want to learn more about me, you can visit my website, my blog profile page as well as my Floor Covering Institute profile. You can also read through case studies of projects I've been involved in.

I'm excited about the Floor Covering Institute, the Floor Covering Institute Blog and the opportunities ahead of all of in the flooring industry to exchange ideas, highlight best practices and discover new approaches for adding value and improving our ultimate customer's experience with the category.

Please let me know if you have questions or suggestions for upcoming blogposts. I look forward to our journey together.


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